By Abasi-ama Idim

Julie was at an all time low, I had never seen my sister like this, never, I mean never!!! She’s been my role model from when we were kids, I always admired her strength and on several occasions, she had proven to be the stronger one but this heartbreak had shattered her in so many ways that I was forced to believe that somehow, her heart had literally broken.

Joe wasn’t Julie’s first or even longest relationship, which is why I didn’t understand how she had let this get to her this much, or is this what they call love? I would appreciate an answer.

Joe left her without any reasonable explanation, it occurred during the period of her annual leave. On that day, a Friday, he came around towards evening time and didn’t even come into the house as usual. They spoke at length and from my vantage position by the window, I could tell that all wasn’t well. He drove off after an hour long discussion and my sister walked in looking like one who had the whole world on her. I was about to ask the cliché ‘what happened?’ when she slumped.

To this day, I wonder what would have happened if I was not home on that fateful day. Julie spent a few weeks recuperating, she later told me that Joe said he wanted a break without any good reason and oh, you can’t imagine the lies I had to tell mama when she arrived. When Julie eventually went back to work, she couldn’t cope; she had lost concentration and got fired. She came back looking worse than she had looked on the day Joe called off their relationship, thank God mama was still around because ‘little’ me would not have known what to do at a time like this, especially with my first semester exams currently going on , it was at this point I had to tell mama the truth.

As time passed, I watched my sister go from bad to worse but I could do nothing to help. She had stopped going anywhere or even stepping out of her room, she made it clear that she didn’t want any visitors. In my quiet time, I would bow my head and say a prayer for Julie, at times, my best friend; Alice would hold my hand and pray with me. At home, I and mama made Julie’s case our number one prayer point. I really wished Julie would come out of this whole mess but she was deteriorating by the day such that I was beginning to lose hope.   

On the 8th of September, Julie’s birthday, I expected a change being that she always had a birthday bash, though I wasn’t expecting something big but at least an acknowledgement of her special day. Well, to my disappointment, nothing happened.  I doubt she even knew what the date was because she had lost touch of everything; it was as if she was not a part of this world.

It is December now, Christmas is here again, the season of love, joy and happiness and I have just one wish; a Christmas miracle for my beloved Julie(deep down, I doubt the possibility of this especially for someone who missed her own birthday, still, It’s all I want right now). Every day since Julie lost her job; whenever I was free I would lie beside her and play her favorite mix tape.

It is a week to Christmas, I and Alice just returned from school. On reaching home, I run straight to Julie’s room to greet her and to inform her of the call I had just received from one of the companies she had applied to and gone through the interview stage while she was at her former job; apparently she had filled in her number and mine while applying. When they tried hers to no avail, they put a call through to the second number with a follow up text. Julie isn’t in her room;

I check around and find mama in the kitchen steaming meat. I ask mama after Julie but she just gave me a big smile. We hear a shrill from Alice in the living room, I run there to see Julie in the most beautiful yellow dress. In my confused state, I turn to mama hoping to get details on what had happened in my absence, she just smiled and said, “It’s a miracle of Christmas”. Well, what can I say? Miracles do happen after all.

Ama Idim is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from the southern part of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer who is passionate about what she does. She enjoys reading, writing and sports.

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